Here's Robinson's reply to my question about aging Viognier, Jenise:
In general I feel that most Viogniers are so relatively fat, with their youthful aroma their greatest asset, that they should be drunk pretty early. Furthermore, Condrieu, arguably the most complex form of Viognier, is the one exception to my own personal rule that fine wine is necessarily worth ageing (discuss!). Most Condrieu in my experience is best drunk within three, occasionally four, years of the vintage. But there are obviously exceptions to the exceptions that prove my fine wine rule. And I would certainly expect Guigal to provide some exceptions. Although since the floral/blossomy notes are such a major part of Viognier’s appeal in my view, I would not actively recommend cellaring a Viognier-based wine for 10 years – apart from Condrieu’s neighbour Château-Grillet which very much goes its own way. See Does Château-Grillet simply need bottle age?
Her further note on Grillet:
I've always thought all Viogniers were supposed to be drunk as early as possible when all the freshness and the fruit is still there. Since there were some rumours that Château Grillet would be back in track, I looked up Château Grillet in Bettane and Desseauve's 2004 guide and, to my amusement, there was a vertical (from 1981) with very high scores to the older bottles. Do you feel the same? I have to confess I've never had the courage to buy Château Grillet but I think my curiosity is tempting me.
I agree! I have not tasted Grillets that excited me since mature examples tasted in the late 1970s, but then I have rarely seen them with more than a few years' bottle age. Perhaps this really is the secret. I shall ensure that the UK importer of Grillet reads this and hope that he might be persuaded to open a few fully mature bottles…there are certainly none in my cellar.
The Purple Pagers debated Grillet for awhile -- a basic conclusion:
La patronne Isabelle Barantin recommends drinking Grillet either off the bat or after at least seven years' bottle age.
I think this debate will run and run and concede that it is not easy wine. Like Savennières it seems pretty vintage-sensitive, needs plenty of oxygen, is necessarily costly, often disappoints but can, on occasion, astound with a taste that is inimitable.
She published a long article on Viognier two years ago. I've sent it to you by PM, and will ask her permission to publish it in full as part of this thread if you think it useful.